Denis Dale wraps up all the latest on the elite senior amateur golfing scene from around the country.
Gatty wins the 2017 Handicap Order of Merit
West Australian Mark Gatty has won the title of Australian Senior Ranking System – Senior Nett Champion.
Gatty won two handicap events, the Tasmanian Masters and the Royal Perth Open during the season where he was very consistent.
In this championship only the best 5 nett results are counted. A player must finish in the top forty to earn any points. Points are not awarded for the Australian Matchplay or the Australian Seniors Championship.
Second place went to Greg Rhodes proving yet again what a champion senior player he is as he was on a plus handicap all year.
John Davey from South Australia finished the season with a flourish and ended up in third place.
Bruce Lindner finished a good season by taking fourth place ahead of Victorian Kym Olsen.
Other Senior Order of Merit prizes conclude with the Australian Senior Amateur played in mid-October.
Doug Francis wins exciting Victorian Seniors
After the first round of the Victorian Senior Amateur John Kelly was the leader after returning a great opening round of 70 at Bairnsdale Golf Course. Kelly had one bogey and two birdies in a very controlled round.
Malcolm Barnes was alone in second place on 73. On 74 is Paul Welsford and Ian McCleary. Tournament favourite Gordon Claney has a lot of ground to make up after a disappointing round of 82.
The second round and a change of venue at Lakes Entrance Golf Club brought new contenders to the top of the leaderboard with overnight leader John Kelly (Metropolitan) unable to continue his first-round heroics.
Fellow Metropolitan member Doug Francis threw down the challenge firing the day’s best round, a one under par 71 to equal the tournament low round of one under par.
Francis finished strongly with two birdies over the final four holes, but it wasn’t enough to reel in the lead from Kelly and the consistent Ian McCleary (Kooringal) who shared the outright lead at 149.
The final round and there were many layers still with a chance. Tied overnight leader Ian McCleary slipped off the pace with an opening nine of 40 and it was Francis who seized the advantage after heading out in 36 to Kelly’s 38 to hold a one-shot lead with the back nine to play.
Back to back bogeys on the 10th and 11th halted the momentum of Francis, as the pendulum swung back in the favour of Kelly who opened with two pars. The next six holes would prove to be a roller coaster ride for Kelly, recording three birdies, two bogey’s and a double bogey, whilst Francis maintained the consistency of one birdie, one bogey and four par’s to ensure the duo stood on the tee of the 54th hole tied.
Francis found the trees but played a miraculous recovery shot. The brilliant shot and ensuing birdie was enough for one of the newest members of the ‘senior circuit’ to secure his first major title and be crowned the Men’s Victorian Senior Amateur champion.
A par on the 54th hole saw Kelly finish outright second one shot shy of a wire to wire win with former champion Gordon Claney (Kingston Heath) finishing third on 228.
In the nett championship, The National’s Guy Krall took top honours by two shots with a three-round nett total of 216 from a daily handicap of 7. McCleary finished in the runner-up position and Yarram’s Ignatius Duivenvoorden finishing third on a countback
Lang Lang Seniors
The Lang Lang Senior Amateur was contested in a cool morning with blustery conditions.
An hour south-east of Melbourne, Lang Lang is a short but challenging course boasting tight fairways and tricky green complexes. Built on a sand base, the course was presented in excellent condition given the heavy rainfall in the past few weeks.
Ian Frost recorded his fourth win of the year after a surprising start. A lost ball off the first tee was followed by some resolute golf and the Rich River senior carded a 77 in relatively tough conditions to win by two shots from Ken O’Brien of Rossdale. O’Brien’s back nine of 38 won him runner-up honours on a count-back from John Kelly of Metropolitan.
Paul Williams was able to master the wind and posted a 2 under par round of nett 68 to take the handicap title. The 12 marker from Kew was one of only two players to better their handicap on the par 70 course, winning by a single shot from Paul McConville from Centenary Park on a nett 69.
Sue Lush was the best today in the women’s scratch section. The Chirnside Park member had 19 scratch points to finish one better than Dorset Ladies’ Helen Drake. Kaye Price of Settlers Run won the women’s stableford with a solid score of 34 points.
Local member Sue Van Gaal was her closest contender on 31 points and joined Price as the only scores above 30 points for the day.
The final round of the 36-hole 2017 Northern Senior Amateur wound up as 47 male and female senior golfers took to the Northern Golf Club layout. A perfect spring day greeted the field, as the temperature remained comfortable all morning with no wind surfacing at all during the final round.
In the men’s gross championship, it was clear the title was a race in two – recently crowned Victorian Senior Amateur champion Doug Francis (Metropolitan) and Northern Territory visitor Tom Harold (Darwin).
The event would be decided by the narrowest of margins via countback with Harold edging Francis for the top spot and denying the Metropolitan member back to back wins on the ‘senior circuit’. Both players had identical scores of 75-74 for a total of 149.
In the Men’s nett event, Latrobe’s Keith Finkelde finished atop the leaderboard with a solid two round nett total of 142. Finkelde held off a three-way tie in second place for a one-shot win, with local Northern member Russell Righton emerging from the tie to take second place on a countback.
Angela Villani continued her dominant opening round to take the Women’s gross championship crown. Villani finished two scratch stableford points clear of the fast finishing Sue Lush (Gardiners Run).
In the Women’s nett event, Winchelsea’s Liz Alston took home the top prize after returning the best final round score of 34 points for a two-round total of 66. Alston outlasted local Dianne Reardon who finished three points adrift with 63 stableford points.
Results from the NSW Senior Order of Merit
A wonderful day at Manly Golf Club where a good sized field enjoyed a course that was ideally set up for the players. The strong winds added to the day.
The winner on a countback was Mona Vale senior Mark Pearson who carded a round of 75. He defeated local member Darryl Hearsch who played beautiful golf to also card a round of 75.
Stefan Albinski was third with a score of 76. Hearsch was the winner of the nett prize.
Nett Winner Darryl Hearsch Manly GC 5 70
Scratch Winner Mark Pearson Mona Vale GC 0 75 cb
Nett Winner Phil Howard Manly GC 5 72
Scratch Winner Stefan Albinski Mona Vale GC 2 76
Nett Winner Tony White Manly GC 9 74
Scratch Winner Murray Patterson Wentworth Falls 7 79
Nett Winner Calvin Jacob The Ridge 12 74
Scratch Winner Mark McDougal Manly GC 11 82
Nett Winner Rodney Steel Mona Vale Golf Club 10 69
Scratch Winner Grahame Stinson Grange Golf Club 3 75cb
Neil Warren (pictured with Monash General Manager John Harrison) has won the 2017 Monash Senior Masters following a sensational birdie on the first playoff hole, the long and difficult par three.
Ken Brewer was the other player in the playoff and after nearly holing his chip from just off the green he could only watch as Warren calmly and confidently holed his twenty foot downhill putt for a great birdie and the title.
It was a wonderful day at Monash with a large field taking part in the shotgun start. As usual the Monash course was presented in beautiful condition.
Overall Scratch Winner
Gross Winner: Ken Brewer 75
Gross R/Up: Lester Peterson 76
Net Winner: James Hogg (5) 72
Net R/Up: Denis Dale (8) 73
Gross Winner: Keith Robinson 78
Gross R/Up: Matt Ferguson 81
Net Winner: Lawrie Bennett (12) 71
Net R/Up: Ajit Singh (23) 72
The Camden Seniors is an eagerly anticipated event on the NSW calendar. The popular host and sponsor Bob Zelesco ensures a great day and 2017 was no exception.
The winner was local member Bill Bell who fired a very good round of two over par 73. He defeated a bunched leaderboard that included Ward Hummerston (the Grange), Geoff Shute (Dunheved), John Osborn (Mudgee), Graham Leake (Links Shell Cove) and Richard Montgomery (Port Kembla).
Ron Hall (Port Kembla) won the Over 65 division with a great score of 74. Bruno Pase was a popular winner of the handicap division.
PresCare Queensland Senior Order of Merit
The 2017 Keperra PresCare QSOOM event attracted a good field of 80 players (65 men and 15 women) competing. They were treated to a great course presented in very good condition.
– Winner Scratch: Laurel Jones 87
– Winner Nett: Patricia Stirling 39 points
– Winner Scratch: Peter Dagan 77
– Runner Up Scratch: Bluey Reidy 78
– Winner Nett: Dennis Lawrence 41points ocb
– Runner Up: Nett Ian Seaton 41points
– Winner Super Senior: Rodney McNeven 79
– Runner Up Super Senior: Bob Marxson 83
Maroochy River Seniors
The Maroochy River PresCare QSOOM event had a field of 53 players (42 men and 11 women) competing on a windy day. The wind plus the greens having been recently tyned made the course fairly challenging with only two players beating their handicap.
– Winner Scratch: Claire Jackson 85
– Winner Nett: Margaret Emerson 40 points
– Winner Scratch: Steve Weir 74
– Winner Nett: John Jayo 36 points
– Runner Up Nett: Dick Kamen 35 points (ocb)
The Brookwater PresCare QSOOM event saw a total of 39 players (30 men and 9 women) competing on an absolutely beautiful day.
The course was in great condition and as usual provided a solid test for all our players as can be seen by the results which show only one player was able to beat their handicap.
– Winner Nett Marie: Voorma 36 points
– Winner Scratch: Greg Fraser 72
– Winner Nett: Harold Loxton 40 points
– Runner Up Nett: Phillip Green 36 points (ocb)